The Architecture at Zero international competition

To seek creative and feasible approaches to ZNE building

by eleonora usseglio prinsi

COMPETITION _ The Architecture at Zero international competition, now in its third year, was conceived as a response to the zero net energy targets set out by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) in the 2008 report, California’s Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. In this report, the CPUC set out four “Big Bold Energy Efficiency Strategies” for California that include the goals that all new residential construction in California be ZNE by 2020 and that all new commercial construction be ZNE by 2030.

Each entrant or team will produce a building design for an approximately 150 unit/up to 14 stories affordable, residential apartment building with a ground floor grocery store that is as close to zero net energy as possible.  

zero net site energy building project produces at least as much energy as it uses over a year when accounted for at the site level (as defined by the boundaries of the project, whether one or multiple buildings). This definition does not include the embodied energy in building materials or account for transportation of materials and people to and from the site. This definition does include all forms of energy used on the site (most commonly electricity and natural gas).

Architecture at Zero 2013 seeks creative and feasible approaches to ZNE building. By encouraging innovative design solutions to site-specific design challenges, the competition aims to broaden thinking about the technical and aesthetic possibilities of zero net energy projects.

This competition is open to students, architects, engineers and designers anywhere in the world. $25,000 in total prize money will be awarded. There will be at least two awards given, one for a student entry and one for a professional entry. Final decisions and prize money distribution will be made solely by the jury.

All submissions must be received by AIA San Francisco by October 1, 2013.